dinner with the fat man

another (f)red dinner rolls around, but this time fat paulie is there (as are chicory and the instigator).

we work our way through the standard conversation of movies and cell phones (always obsessions of the majority of (f)red dinner attendees). conversation slows as the food arrives and it's here that i'll try my luck.

"paulie, i've got a question for you. and let me say right up front, that i apologize for how this may hit you, okay? i'm not trying to shake you up."

eating slows and eyes turn to the fat man. we all know that front row seats are where you find them.

"is there any chance you'll be selling your s2000 in the medium term? say the next few months?"

he gives his classic mona lisa smile. "funny you should say that. i'm going to be buying another car and need the space. so, 'yes.' why do you ask?"

"well, chrysler is discontinuing the pt cruiser convertible and i'm thinking of buying one, but i might not if you're selling your car."

he takes a bite of pot roast as his eyes narrow from extreme thought, "what the fuck is that supposed to mean?" chickory and the instigator are beaming.

this is going about how i imagined.

"in simple english it means i might buy your car or i might buy a pt cruiser convertible."

he's stunned. kinda like a lab frog that you started to pithe, but has managed to hop away with a needle still sticking out of a nostril. "they're not the same. you know that, right?" he's looking to see if there's even any signs of intelligent life in my eyes. he slows his down, like the way you would if you were talking to a really dull four year old. "the s2000 is a fairly high performance sports car. the pt cruiser is a ... a," he's searching for words that aren't even part of his automotive lexicon, "a ... a ..."

the instigator pipes in, "mini-van?"

paulie snaps out of his stupor a bit and hisses. "no, it's worse than that." he thinks a bit more, "what do you mean, you might buy my car or that." the emphasis on the word "that" is about even with the way someone would say "house trailer from love canal."

might as well twist the screw. if i don't the instigator will. "come on, fatty. the two cars have one thing in common, you're a smart boy, you know what it is."

his eyes are starting to roll back in his head and his breathing is getting labored. "i have no fucking idea. they both have four wheels? they both live in the mind of someone who has gone totally insane?"

the instigator chimes in, "no, paul. money. they both are being paid for by b1."

paulie looks confused. "money? what do you mean, 'money?'"

everyone's laughing now. he really can't put this all together.

"i'm going to buy a car paul. it's about $20,000. i buy one or the other."

"... you ... buy ... one ... or ... the ... other," he's repeating words the same way you would if someone had asked you a question while reading. he's heard what's being said, but he can't understand it.

we're all laughing harder.

i look at the instigator and chickory. "someone help me here, i can't get through to him."

and chickory comes up with a classic chickory moment. "paul, you have the opportunity to save someone from buying a pt cruiser."

and he snaps out of his stupor like you'd just waved a smelling salt under his nose. "oh, fuck yeah. i'd do that."

time to close this mental door before too much leaks out. "okay, paul. let me know if you sell it. i need to take a drive in that car before i buy it, of course, but i drive a car soft. i won't hurt it, i promise." he's not convinced, so i add, "and if i buy it, i'll never let dogs ride in it." this cheers him up considerably.

ignorning the fact that paul looks like he's lost his appetite, the dinner returns to normal, because, well, the new high-def release of blade runner is being shown down in LA right now.

which means, right this second, it looks like i'll be having a new-to-me honda somewhat soon.

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